CollectionReligious Sisters of Charity
Collection DescriptionMother Mary Aikenhead founded the Religious Sisters of Charity. The archive contains about 350 archival boxes of material. The archive contains substantial relating to Mother Aikenhead, her correspondence and material associated with her life, her Cause and her cult. The correspondence is divided into Mary Aikenhead's own letters (A) and those written to her or to others (B).

The archives are divided along the following lines:

Series 1 - Mary Aikenhead:
1 A) Letters from Mother Mary Aikenhead:
1 B) Letters to Mother Mary Aikenhead
1 C) Books and Ms documents used by Mother Mary Aikenhead and contemporaries

2. Cause
3. Cult
4. Favours Received
5. Constitutions
6. General Chapters
7. Superiors General
8. Bursars General
9. Secretary General
10. Ecclesiastical Authorities
11. Provinces and Regions
12. Australia
13. Formation
14. Apostolate
15. 1) Annals
2) Commemorations
3) Publications
4) Press cuttings
5) Photographs
 6) Relics/artefacts
7) Audio-visual material
16 Houses

There is a large collection of letters written to Aikenhead by clerics, lay individuals and Sisters from other convents. The following examples give some indication of the range of material available:

Letters to Mother Mary Aikenhead:

6: 13 April 1814: from the Rev. Daniel Murray, Archbishop of Dublin to Rev Mother/Bar Convent. 'Mrs Coyney' in pencil. While awaiting the Constitutions of the Sisters of Charity he sends an 'outline of their plan of life' of which he speaks. Dr Everard has recommended a Mrs Moore (nee Taaffe) to join them as matron. F[rances] Ball is hopeful of accomplishing her purpose of joining your community and is trying to obtain her mother's consent, 2 pages.

10: 6 December 1815: from the Rev. Daniel Murray, Archbishop of Dublin from Rome to Mrs Aikenhead North William Street, care of Mrs Mooney, 41 Cumberland Street, Dublin. He has obtained power from the Holy See for the Archbishop of Dublin to erect a Congregation of the Sisters of Charity according to the rules of the Convent of York: he wishes it to be under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin. Discusses the Constitution, spiritual advice for the formation of 'the little flock'.

60: 9 August 1837: from Corneilius O'Sullivan Mount Street to Mrs Aikenhead, Sandymount, deals with Mrs Verschoyle's legacy of debentures to Mary Aikenhead as Prioress of Sandymount.

88: 14 November 1845: from Mother Mary Chantal Coleman, Rectress Cork. Write for the first time from the beautiful convent. Describes a visit to the North Presentation [?] Convent and the move to the new house.

103: 1 June 1847, from Mother Mary Chantal Coleman, Rectress Cork. 'fever is still raging in every direction ... in fine the people are awe stricken'.

120: 9 December 1851: from Mother Mary Chantal Coleman, Rectress Cork. The four Misses O'Regan have offered £400 to start a school immediately because of the hundreds taken to proselytising schools.

209: Letter from J.W. Farrall 38 Rutland Square to Mrs Aikenhead accepting 'office of first medical advisor to the hospital' and praising the ability with which its plans had been conceived and the skill and energy employed in its completion. 'I have no doubt it will prove a lasting advantage to the country - offering peculiar comforts to the invalid and serving ... as a model for the improvement of other public institutions'.

235: 22 December 1848: from Sr M. Cahill, Convent of the Sisters of Charity Hobart Town, (Australia) to Mother Mary Aikenhead. She sends a translation done on the journey out in 1839. They have a poor school of about 80 children, now paid for by the government. Refers to 'awful times in poor dear Ireland'.

AccessRestricted. Contact Repository.
Century19th, 20th

A specific reference number precedes the description of the document. This number is needed to call up each document.

Repository NameReligious Sisters of Charity Archives
AddressReligious Sisters of Charity Generalate Caritas 15 Gilford Road Sandymount Dublin 4
EircodeD04 X337
Repository Web Address